Net Profit (4)
John 21:1-13 (1) After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. (2) There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. (3) Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. (4) But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. (5) Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. (6) And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. (7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. (8) And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. (9) As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. (10) Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. (11) Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. (12) Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. (13) Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. As in the previous meditations (Net Profit 1, 2, 3), we are merely using this historical account as a backdrop to set forth some parallel observations about the kingdom of heaven (the gospel church) as it approaches its heavenly shore when the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming shall deliver “...up the kingdom to God...” (1CO 15:24) in resurrection perfection. Let the noble reader remember that present gospel work is indeed likened unto such a fishing expedition in MAT 13:47-50 and that gospel workers are sometimes called “fishers of men” (MAT 4:19; LUK 5:10). We note in v.12 that by this time the disciples knew “...that it was the Lord.” Similarly, there shall be no doubting in the great day of the Lord Jesus Christ when the church's work on earth is done. Believers will, by virtue of Christ's resurrection power, experience ISA 25:8-9, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” In that day, “...we shall see him as he is” (1JO 3:2) and “...then shall [we] know even as also [we are] known” (1CO 13:12). But it shall not only be the believer that knows the Lord in that awful day, for while the heavens and earth dissolve and depart as a scroll (ISA 34:4; REV 6:14; 2PE 3:10-12) and the unbelievers see His sheer power in judgment, “every knee should bow.....every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (PHIL 2:10-12 c/w ISA 45:23). God is also known “...by the judgment which he executeth...” (PSA 9:16). In accord with the above, vs.12-13 parallel some things to come. We mark that there is here an imperative call from the Lord, “Come and dine...” and also seen is His service to the disciples. The blood-bought elect bride of Christ has by grace been effectually “...called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (REV 19:9), for “...whom he did predestinate, them he also called...” (ROM 8:30). Without fail, the elect are called out of death in sin unto spiritual life by Christ's voice, per JOH 5:25; they are quickened inwardly / born of the Spirit. This birth is the firstfruits of the Spirit which guarantees a blessed resurrection by that same Spirit (ROM 8:11; ROM 8:23); those called by Christ inwardly shall certainly be called by Christ finally since all the called are glorified (ROM 8:30). Believers shall then in the perfection of the kingdom dine with Him at that glorious marriage supper. As by the Sea of Tiberias where Jesus served them upon arrival, in glory He shall “...gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (LUK 12:37). He “...shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (REV 7:17). Christ came into this world in humility as “...he that serveth” (LUK 22:27) and is pleased to do so even in His glorious power. Sinners who sincerely now hearken unto Christ's gospel call of “Come...” (ISA 55:1-3; MAT 11:28-30) in so coming are built up a spiritual house (1PE 2:4-5) which comparative study shows is the gospel church (1TI 3:15). These who come also dine for they eat and drink with Christ at His table in His kingdom now (LUK 22:29-30 c/w 1CO 10:16-21; 1CO 11:20-26). To answer now His call to “Come” is to expect also to “Dine.” And for the righteous in heart there is no better banquet. But “Come and dine” has another facet to consider. For those “bad fish” of the kingdom net which shall be cast away (MAT 13:48) and for the wicked in general, the Lamb's appeal, “Come and dine” in the day of His return will not be to them. That call will be to “...the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great” (REV 19:17-18). This will be a horrific meal----not a picnic by the Sea of Tiberias (JOH 21:1) but a feeding frenzy by the lake of fire (REV 19:20). It is not a popular message, but whereas Jesus Christ “...shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe...” (2TH 1:10), no such assurance is promised to unbelievers. Rather, He shall come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2TH 1:8). In effect, His word unto those who refused His gospel call is “...none of those men shall taste of my supper” (LUK 14:24). They shall drink of the wine of His wrath and be supper.